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Nuts To You… Just One Way to a Healthy

Nuts To You… Just One Way to a Healthy Heart
Dr. John Rumberger

Nuts are readily available and provide a highly nutritious food. In addition to protein, carbohydrate, and fat, nuts contain many other important nutrients: fiber, vitamin E, folic acid, potassium, and magnesium. Although on some food charts you may see nuts listed in the same food category as diary products, eggs, and red meat because of the fat content, new information calls into question this designation.
While nuts do contain a high proportion of fat, tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazel nuts, Brazil nuts, and macadamia are actually low in saturated fat. Most of the fat comes in the form of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered to be acceptable forms of fat that actually “reduce” the incidence of heart and vascular disease.
Several large studies have examined the relationship between the risk of heart disease and intake of omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources. In the Seventh Day Adventist Health Study researchers found that those who reported eating nuts more than four times per week had a 50% lower risk of heart disease than those who rarely ate nuts. The Nurses’ Health Study found that heart disease risk was reduced by 35% in those who ate nuts compared with those who rarely ate nuts. An addition study found that the risk of type 2 diabetes went down by nearly 1/3 in women who consumed 1/4 cup of nuts five times per week compared to those that did not eat nuts at all.
One recent study looked at almonds in particular. They examined the effects on LDL [“bad”] cholesterol values. Each person served as his own control and they were each on three different “diets”: almonds representing about 1/4 their entire daily calorie intake, OR a “handful” of almonds per day, OR a muffin [containing about the same number of calories as a “full dose” of almonds]. The LDL cholesterol went down about 10% when the subjects took a “full dose” of almonds, went down about 5% with intake of a “handful” of almonds, and did not go down at all with eating a muffin. In those with the higher “dose” of almonds, the “ratio” of bad to good cholesterol [LDL/HDL ratio] went down by 12%.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recognizes nuts [including almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, macadamia, and pistachios] may help to lower your blood cholesterol and may be a very healthy “snack”. However, they also warn that they are a source of calories and should not be used to great excess in those with calorie restricted diets and that you should avoid nuts with added oils or added salt. The AHA recommends eating an overall balanced diet that is high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and includes low-fat [or non-fat] diary products, fish and lean meats. If you add nuts to your diet, just be sure that you don’t inadvertently add considerable total calories – despite the benefits of nuts, maintaining an ideal body weight is more important. Weight is often a simple lesson in physics – what comes in either stays [as increased pounds] or is used up for energy and metabolism [which is increased by a regular exercise program].

Disclaimer: If you are under 18, pregnant, nursing or have health problems, consult your physician before starting any weight loss plan. The information here is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any course of treatment.

About the Author

Dr. John Rumberger’s experince in the field is extensive, and includes achieving his doctorate in 1976 (Bio-Engineering/ Fluid Dynamics/ Applied Mathematics) from Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio, with a dissertation on, A Non-Linear Model of Coronary Artery Blood Flow. He has just completed his book The WAY Diet available on amazon.com or direct through the publisher at http://www.emptycanoe.com


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How Heart-Healthy is Alcohol?

How Heart-Healthy is Alcohol?
Dr. Joseph Mercola

Although past research suggests that drinking a glass or two of
wine a day may have some heart benefits, new findings suggest
that those studies were flawed.

Risks Outweigh the Benefits

There is some evidence that heavier drinking provides heart
protection — alcoholics have relatively ‘clean’ arteries — but
the other health risks of heavy drinking outweigh the benefits.

Early observations in the 1970s and 1980s seemed to indicate a
20 to 25 percent reduction in heart disease risk linked to light
drinking. However, the way those studies were carried out did
not allow researchers to say with certainty that the findings
could not be due to factors other than alcohol consumption.

Diet, Exercise, Quit Smoking

The British Heart Foundation responded to the new evidence by
saying that their advice remained the same: “… the best way to
reduce the risk of heart disease is to quit smoking if you
smoke, increase levels of physical activity and eat a healthy
balanced diet.”

BBC News December 2, 2005

Dr. Mercola’s Comment:Good advice from the British Heart
Foundation, so long as your balanced diet is nutritionally sound.

As I’ve said before about studies touting all the “benefits” of
drinking red wine, I personally do not advocate it. There are
many health experts that feel it is fine in moderation, but I am
still not convinced.

This is largely because I am convinced the alcohol itself is
actually a neurotoxin, which means it can poison your brain.
Additionally, it has the strong potential to seriously disrupt
your delicate hormone balance. Plus, drinking two or more
glasses (of wine or any alcoholic beverage for that matter) may
offset the benefit and increase your risk of certain cancers.

You also need to be aware that consuming large amounts of wine
will increase insulin levels and eventually have a negative
impact on your health that way as well.

If you absolutely insist on drinking red wine, check on the
growing conditions of the grapes used and how the wine is made.
And if you can, take a brisk walk to pick it up, as exercise is
your real ticket to preventing heart disease.

About the author:

This article is reprinted from Mercola.com, the world’s #1 most
visited and trusted natural/alternative health website. For a
limited time only, you can take the FREE “Metabolic Type Test”
to help you learn the right foods for your particular body type
so you can achieve optimal fitness & health. Just go to
http://www.mercola.com/forms/mt_test.htm right now to take this
quick test!


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Food that&#39s good for a healthy heart

Food that&#39s good for a healthy heart
Nitin Jain

Here’s a conundrum: While experts agree that high cholesterol and blood pressure are crucial heart disease risk factors, many people who suffer chest pain or even heart attacks have levels that are perfectly normal. This puzzle has prompted researchers to scour the body for other cardiovascular villains. Several have emerged in recent years, but the one that stands out the most is inflammation.

The latest studies suggest that chronic inflammation of the lining of arteries is an important factor in the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. What causes this inflammation is not clear, but the good news is that (1) the advice that is given for lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides also works fine for fighting inflammation; and (2) you can tackle all 4 culprits with the help of dietary weapons – http://www.vitaminsdiary.com/nutrients.htm In fact, you can plan your war against heart disease in your kitchen. Here is how:

1. Think like an artist when you choose fruits and vegetables: Eat those with the brightest colors. They have the most heart protective antioxidant pigments. A diet high in fruits and veggies also provides another important heart benefit, salicylic acid, which is the same anti-inflammatory compound created when aspirin is broken down in the body.

2. Increase food sources of omega-3 fatty acids which target high triglycerides in the blood. Good sources of omega-3s include fish such as sardines, mackerel; nuts and seeds; green leafy vegetables; grains like wheat, bajra; legumes like rajma, cowpea, and black gram.

3. Reduce the amount of meats you eat, especially red meats, and always select lean cuts. Use meat as a seasoning for vegetable dishes rather than the focal point of a meal.

4. Cut down on salt and instead use herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric and fenugreek liberally in your cooking; the first three are naturally anti-inflammatory and the last has soluble fibre which helps sweep away cholesterol from the arteries.

5. Shift to groundnut, mustard, rice bran and olive oils which contain monosaturated fatty acids that help lower (bad) LDL and maintain levels of (good) HDL cholesterol. Drastically limit margarine, vegetable shortening, butter and all products made with partially hydrogenated oils.

6. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains (wheat, brown rice, oats), beans and pulses, are also great sources of soluble and insoluble fibre, which trap LDLs and usher them out of the body.

Get helpful information on vitamins, amino acids, herbs, minerals and other nutrients for a healthier life – http://www.vitaminsdiary.com/.

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